- The Washington Times - Friday, January 5, 2007

BRITAIN

Protester guilty of soliciting murder

LONDON — A British Muslim was convicted yesterday of soliciting murder by calling at a London demonstration for the United States and Denmark to be bombed.

Umran Javed, 27, was also convicted at a London court of inciting racial hatred during the protest last February against the publication of cartoons lampooning the prophet Muhammad. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Prosecutors said there was no doubt Javed had intended to incite murder and racial hatred. Javed had told the trial he regretted his actions and had beenirrational during the protest outside the Danish Embassy.

COLOMBIA

Ex-Cabinet minister escapes from rebels

BOGOTA — A former Cabinet minister said yesterday he escaped from six years in rebel captivity by fleeing through the jungle after troops attacked the guerrillas who held him.

Former Development Minister Fernando Araujo said he walked five days through mountainous jungle after escaping Sunday from a guerrilla camp of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Mr. Araujo was kidnapped on Dec. 5, 2000, while exercising in the Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena. He said he was the only hostage at the camp and knew nothing about an estimated 60 other political hostages — among them former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and three American defense contractors.

IRAQ

Iran said to step up role in violence

Iran has sharply increased its efforts to fan sectarian violence in Iraq in recent months, easily transferring money and arms across the Iraqi border, an opponent of the Tehran government said in Washington yesterday.

Alireza Jafarazadeh gave names, locations and logistics he said were associated with Iranian operations in neighboring Iraq, which include providing roadside bombs that have killed U.S. forces. He said his information came from Iran-based members of the People’s Mujahedeen. Iran denies that it is spurring sectarian violence in Iraq.

The British Broadcasting Corp., citing a British official, reported yesterday that five Iranians arrested in a Dec. 21 raid by U.S. forces in Baghdad were senior intelligence officers thought to be on a covert mission to influence the Iraqi government.

FRANCE

Iraq invasion spread terror, Chirac says

PARIS — President Jacques Chirac gave a tough critique yesterday of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and its fallout, saying the war destabilized the entire Middle East and allowed terrorism to spread.

In a speech to ambassadors, Mr. Chirac said problems in Iraq today justified France’s strong opposition to the invasion in 2003. He also renewed his call for an international conference on the Middle East, saying he was deeply concerned by the growing number of crises there.

SPAIN

More bombs found in Basque region

MADRID — Police found two more stashes of explosives in the Basque region yesterday as rescue workers tried to recover the body of a second man killed by a huge ETA car bomb at Madrid airport last Saturday.

Police in the northern Basque region, which ETA wants to be independent, found two packets of explosives weighing 176 pounds in the town of Atxondo. On Thursday, they found 220 pounds of explosives ready for use.

Also yesterday, police received a phone call saying there was a bomb at Bilbao airport, but said it appeared to be a false alarm.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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